July 22, 2011
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast. ... Psalm 57:7a
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
This passage of steadfast praise sums up the topic we have chosen for our devotions.
Here in Madagascar the meaning of the word "steadfast" goes even further; it means the heart is overflowing. This brings a new meaning to the term steadfast in praise. A good example was at one particular church when the Sunday morning prayer was coming to a close. The whole congregation turned to the choir as they sang, "My heart is steadfast, oh God!" The song was beautifully sung, and the message was pertinent to the day's service. A great hush came over those present and many broke out in tears.
In these words we hear the positive praise emanating from the lives of believers. It reveals all that is hidden in the hearts of Christians. Though it does not carry the intense hallelujahs and thanksgivings that are found near the end of the book of Psalms, it is so much more powerful.
The Holy Spirit tells us that when believers are satisfied and enjoy peace in their fellowship with Jesus, when they have seen the life of grace and mercy that they have received, when they have felt the sweetness of unity with God, when they have overcome and their prayers have been answered -- then nothing can stop the praise that comes forth from their hearts.
After Jesus healed the leper, He forbade him from speaking to others about what he had received (see Luke 5:14); yet the more He forbade, the more the leper shared. The healed man could not stay silent. The same thing happened with the man who was born blind (see John 9).
It is praise such as this that is the life of God's people.
The psalmist here chose the word steadfast to tell of his complete happiness that is built firmly on the immovable foundation of God. It is inspired by the Lord having answered the writer's cry for help (see verses 1 and 10), and because he now sees how sweet it is to be with God. The Psalmist takes up the instruments and uses them so that his praise may inspire and improve the glory given to God.
The writer concludes by saying his whole life is filled with a willingness to go to people and to nations in order to tell of the goodness and the greatness of God. That is the life of praise. It is the life of praise the crucified and risen Savior wishes to bestow upon us.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, the hymn writer asks You to keep us steadfast in Your Word. Today I also ask that You will keep me steadfast in praise. May my words and my life reflect my gratitude for the great things which have been done for me in Jesus. In His Name I pray it. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's Daily Devotion was written by Pastor René Razafimiaramanana who is the pastor of a parish, in the northern suburb of Antananarivo, Madagascar. He was chaplain in church-affiliated schools for many years, and also a chaplain in the Malagasy army in the outer provinces before serving his present parish. He has found the Gospel may be preached in many ways. The challenges of schools and the army were one way and the challenges of a revival church are another. Yet, all these things are the work of God's powerful grace in spreading His Word. In this island nation of more than 20 million people, LHM-Madagascar -- known locally as the Voice of the Gospel -- provides outreach materials in both French and Malagasy as both are spoken throughout the island. Using Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), television programs like This Is The Life and FM radio programming, LHM-Madagascar reaches out with God's message of hope in Jesus to a population where approximately 50 percent live below the poverty level.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries